Guardian Telephone Exchange (named after the Manchester-based newspaper) was built in the late 1950s as an underground protected faciity to secure communications during a Cold War attack. Other equivalent facilities are Kingsway Exchange in London and Anchor Exchange in Birmingham.
The main access to Guardian was originally from the surface exchange building (now sold and sealed). Other access points remain, the main one being on George Street. As well as switching equipment, the site housed emergency generators, air-handling plant and living, catering and sleeping accommodation for engineers. Today the tunnels are believed to house cables but no exchange equipment.